the music of lost men

by Carol Shillibeer
Against his disappearance,
I left. Years. Urban blocks that have risen
out of chasms. I look amongst the risings,
sure that the soft flower sleep of him
will have clung.

Now, sleeping 13 floors down
from the sky, the fragile
scent of his acacia hides,
nose to the concrete hung
over the alley, the wetness, old rain,
soil washed down from the geranium
one slab above, blossom turning brown,
in memory, and he, yellow-eyed,
with fingers that no longer
bend in the supple fruiting of muscular play.

I finger the notes, half asleep, sounding
that falling, his, mine, oh the sound
of petals passing. Which of us
will hit first?
Carol Shillibeer lives on the west coast of Canada. Her publication list is at

© 2014, Carol Shillibeer